Merton Council has been awarded Green Flag status for two of its parks in recognition of a series of improvements carried out over the past year.
A national standard for quality parks and green spaces that are welcoming, well maintained and are supported by the local community, the flag will be hoisted over the John Innes Park on the 29 July.
For the second year running Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields has been able to proudly raise its prized green flag which was awarded for developments including a new cycle route through the park, the extension of the team games area following funding secured by the Friends Group and improved fencing around the playing fields.
First time winner John Innes Park was awarded the Green Flag following the installation of new signs informing visitors about the history of the park and its features. Investment from the council has enabled the refurbishment of the tennis courts and the Friends Group has replanted the rock garden.
This year a record 743 green spaces freely accessible to the public across the country have received a Green Flag Award out of a total of 875 entries. This year’s winners will be announced from Green Flag award winning Bellingham Green, Lewisham. Bellingham Green was highlighted by the government as a transformed area of regeneration, demonstrating how residents working together with public agencies can transform deprived neighbourhoods.
Merton Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor David Simpson said: “This is great news for Merton. We value our green spaces and how they can make a real difference to the quality of our residents’ lives. Investing in such spaces and working closely with friends’ groups means that we can provide an outdoor space that everyone can enjoy, whether it’s for playing sports, having a picnic or relaxing under a tree with a good book. The Green Flag is a highly respected standard and is a reward for all the hard work that has gone into improving the parks for residents and visitors.”
Paul Todd, Green Flag Award scheme Application Manager, said: “The increasing number of Green Flag Award winning parks and green spaces highlight the important role they play in bringing people together and improving their quality of life.
Congratulations to all the management, staff, and in particular, thousands of volunteers whose hard work and dedication has brought this award of excellence.”
This year’s winners will celebrate their achievements and collect their flags at a major ceremony in Liverpool on Thursday 24th July.
For information on all winners please visit: http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk